Wonder Connection’s mission is to promote joy, well-being, and self-confidence in hospitalized children and teens through the wonders of nature and science.


Wonder Connection is a one-of-a-kind program, launched in 2006, that provides hospitalized pediatric patients with a connection to the natural world via hands-on natural science activities. We like to say that our job is to use science and nature as tools to get them engaged and make them smile and to get them excited about learning science. According to our evaluation report from September of 2017, 100% of students surveyed cited positive examples of science learning, 94% reported feeling “happy” after the Wonder Connection session, 100% of parents surveyed said their child felt “happy” and “interested” after the Wonder Connection session. Since launching, Wonder Connection has provided hands-on science classes and one-on-one instruction to over 12,000 pediatric patients from UNC Children’s Hospital. Programming serves pediatric inpatients and outpatients throughout the calendar year (including the summer months) for four days each week. We provide individual visits with pediatric patients, group activities for pediatric patients as well as child and adolescent psychiatric patients, and biweekly activities for families at the Chapel Hill Ronald McDonald House.